City Controller Michael Lamb released the first ever audit by the city controller of city council. In the audit the controller makes few reccomendations to council. Most notalby Lamb recommends that council rid itself of the practice of pre encumberence. Pre encumberence is when council members designate amounts of money to be used in the future for specific items or services. He said that council currently does not specify what the money is to be used for. Although any money being spent needs to be approved by the council body, eliminating the practice can improve transparency and add money into the general fund balance.
Lamb also recommened that council set a minimum amount of money that can be awarded in community development block grants. Currently council has no set minimum and has awarded grants of only $500. Lamb said the practice is not cost effective and that he would like to see a minimum award of at least $2,500.
The audit of city council was asked for by council president Doug Shields earlier in the year. The audits recommendations have been received well by council according to Lamb. Plans to audit the mayors office are in the works for 2009.